Wordpress.com vs Wordpress.org: What’s the difference?

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This is something that comes up quite regularly between myself and new clients when they get in touch to say they’ve got a site set up on Wordpress and they’d like a new design – which is great!

They send me their website with all of it’s great content only for me to find they’re actually on Wordpress.com and not Wordpress.org, which means our first step is to move their website over to Wordpress.org. Why? Let’s take a look…

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s the difference?WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s the difference

What’s the problem with Wordpress.com?

Wordpress.com is a free platform to host your website using the Wordpress content management system.

You have a selection of Wordpress.com approved themes you can use to customise the look of our site and whilst you can pay small fees for minor upgrades, your site will still look like the majority of other Wordpress.com websites.

You might also have yourwebsitename.wordpress.com as your URL, or you may have paid fee to have your own domain name attached (yourwebsitename.com) – a small win.

Why is Wordpress.org better?

Wordpress.org is free to download and install on your own server, meaning you need to get yourself some web hosting along with your domain name.

Wordpress.org allows you to have custom built themes (which means you can work with a designer on a bespoke website design) and full control over your content without any hidden costs.

What should I use?

I always recommend Wordpress.org to my clients otherwise we can’t build the beautiful and unique website design we’re after, as sticking with Wordpress.com means choosing from the limited themes Wordpress.com offer.

Wordpress.org can seem like an immediate ‘no’ because it has a price tag attached to it, but when you look at the features in comparison to Wordpress.com, it’s a small but worthwhile investment to make.

For a small monthly hosting fee you’ll be able to build your online brand and take your website to the next level.

How do I switch from Wordpress.com to Wordpress.org?

My advice is to not pay Wordpress to transfer your content. Most web designers should handle this transfer for you and for a fraction of the cost!

I offer free website transfer services to all of my web design clients and would be more than happy to help you too.

Alternatively, if you are looking to design your website yourself, you can use the Import/Export tools in both Wordpress dashboards to move your content over. This will move your posts, pages, comments and media, but keep in mind you will need to set up overall design again on your new Wordpress.org blog.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion about Wordpress.com vs. Wordpress.org! If you have any more questions, please get in touch.

Written by Kate Smoothy

Kate Smoothy is an SEO specialist and web designer based in Essex, England. When she’s not working with SEO and website design clients, Kate shares SEO tips and guides on TikTok and LinkedIn.

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